Wednesday, January 23, 2008

God Bless Pam Moses

Somethings really never change.

Yesterday, I was making my way down the hall at church when I happened on that wonderful sight of one of our Brentwood Young Children's School classes walking in single file back to their classroom. The only thing missing was the "rope" - you know, the thing that all the kids hold on to to keep everyone together walking in single file following their teacher.

This particular class' teacher was none other than Pam Moses. As I walked past her, I told her that her group reminded me of when she taught my son, Matt. He was 5 when he was in her class.

She then asked me how old Matt was. When I told her that he is a senior in high school, she responded with "that makes me feel about 100!!!".

I told her if she feels that old, how do you think I feel?

So tonight, I bless God for Pam Moses - 13+ years of helping to shape the lives of boys and girls as they become men and women!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Why Don't We Ever Sing "__________" Anymore?

My position as worship minister opens the door (quite often) for comments, opinions, suggestions, and even criticism for how we do worship - most especially the songs we sing or don't sing.

A few months ago, a guy came up to me after a service and asked me if we could sing "__________" (a title of a song that will remain nameless for this blog) sometime? I told him (like I tell everyone) I would certainly consider it.

We sing 3-4 songs every Sunday. We have averaged (over the past several years) somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 different hymns and 45 different choruses sung in our services each year.

Back to my story -
So, this same guy (I think) e-mails me in November to remind me to sing "__________". I ignored it because I was busy with Christmas, and honestly, this song didn't fit at Christmas anyway.

Well, this past Sunday morning as we were preparing for our orchestra and other worship leaders to arrive, this same guy (whom I did not recognize) makes his way through the Worship Center evidently on his way elsewhere, never stops walking, but says to me (loud enough for those around to hear as well), "are we singing '______________' today?" When I told him, "no", he replied, "well, I sure wish we would sometime soon because we haven't sung that song in so long, I think I have forgotten the words." (he never broke stride as he headed out the door elsewhere)

I have wondered what he would have done if by chance Sunday would have been the day we really were going to sing "____________"????

Friday, January 04, 2008

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Not So Great A Beginning To 2008

The longer I live, and the longer I serve in a ministry position where there is always pain and heartache and someone in need, it should not come as a surprise that it is bound to happen more close to home at some point.

It's not the way any of my family wanted the new year to begin, but the phone call came this morning around 10:30am, and the day has been brutal to say the least. My sweet wife's father, Byron passed away this morning as his sweet wife, Carolyn was taking him to see the doctor because he had not felt well these past few days due to what we thought was a simple cold.

I spoke with a friend on New Years Eve whose mom passed away a few days ago, and it seemed like similar stories - things seemed so normal, then.......they're gone. They are GONE - no more time with them - no more words to be exchanged - no more hugs - no more pats on the back - no more hurts to see my wife, my mother-in-law, and my brother-in-law hurt like this.

As if that was not enough, I had to take my 18-year-old to juvenile traffic court this afternoon because of a speeding ticket he received a month ago when he was still 17. The "court experience" began with a high school senior reading aloud an essay he wrote about dying in a car crash and what it was like for his parents to identify his body because he chose to drive 93 mph in a 70 mph zone.

Having just come from sitting in the ER with the body of my "just deceased" father-in-law, the reading of that essay was sobering and even more painful.

So, 2008 is off to a not so great beginning. As my beautiful wife said to me in the midst of her sometimes uncontrollable sobbing this morning, "I don't know how people with no faith deal with something like this"........she is so right - I don't know how they deal with it, but it is a powerful reminder that as long as there are people out there who don't believe in the Jesus we believe in, then we continue to do whatever we have to do to love these people, and introduce them to this Jesus who in times like today reveals Himself in ways never before imagined to help heal hurt and pain that is so deep words fall short in describing it.

Thank you, Byron for your constant words of encouragement, your love of life, your faith, your laugh, and your example of how to live a life of significance for the will be missed, and I know you are already enjoying your eternity!

(I love this photo because it was captured following a most incredible evening at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center last spring when we enjoyed an evening of hymns with our incredible symphony and several special guests artists - Byron loved that evening - he told me that often - it was a memory that will remain with me forever.....)